Lemon drizzle cake

This recipe is based on Tana Ramsay's. It creates the most beautifully moist cake you will ever taste that will keep for up to 4 days and not dry out.

The kids loved baking this with me and especially loved poking the cake with skewers to get all the juiciness inside!

225g unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
Finely grated zest 1 lemon
225g self raising flour

For the lemon topping
Juice of 1 lemon
80g caster sugar

As you can see there aren't many ingredients and this cake will easily serve 10-12 making it perfect for after a Sunday roast with leftovers for packed lunches on Monday.

1- Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas mark 4. Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. 

2- Add the eggs one at a time and slowly mix together. Sift in the flour and add the zest of a lemon.

3- Line a loaf tin (we used 8x21cm) with greaseproof paper and pour in mixture. Level the top with a spoon.

4- Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Meanwhile hand children a spoon and allow them to 'lick the bowl'.

5- Take the cake out of the oven and mix the lemon juice and sugar for the topping together. We use a bamboo skewer to prick the cake in several places right down to the bottom. 

6- Spoon the topping over the cake. It should sink into the holes and leave a thin layer of sugar on top of the cake. Leave to cool, remove and serve. Delicious!


The Fat Hippo Underground

Tonight we were invited along for a sneaky peek of The Fat Hippo Underground. We love, love, love The Fat Hippo in Jesmond and could not to wait to see what this new venture would have to offer.

The Fat Hippo Underground is situated in a prime location in the centre of Newcastle - just next to the Theatre royal on Shakespeare Street. Blink and you may walk past it though as it is just a small doorway leading you underground. Keep your eyes peeled for the illuminated red fat hippo above the door and you should find it!

Image courtesy of The Fat Hippo's facebook page.

Image courtesy of The Fat Hippo's facebook page.

The interior feels very rough around the edges (which I think is intentional) and rustic in style. You would not feel out of place dressed up to the nines before a night out, in your tracksuit bottoms and trainers or in a smart suit straight from work - it has the sort of cool vibe where anything goes.

As with the original fat hippo, I adored the playlist in the background. Who wouldn't want to smile when Planet Funks's Chase the Sun is being played. Whoever is in charge of music here has it just right!

We browsed the menu which is unusually made of unlaminated paper - not sure how long these will last before they need replacing?

We decided to try the popcorn from the bar snacks section of the menu to start. Priced at £2.75 there was an ample amount for two people - there was a sweet variety and a wasabi variety. Both types left us wanting more and were a great accompaniment to our wine that was going down nicely.

We both decided to try 'The Fat Hippo' burger which is made up of - 2 beef patties, homemade (and huge) onion rings, chirizo, bacon, cheese and fat hippo sauce all in a brioche burger bun with a side of homemade chips and salad. How anyone could get their chops around these bad boys is beyond me! Good job they are served with a knife and fork! They took a bit of deconstructing to eat.

Look at the height on our burgers! Huge! I like how we are told they are served pink and juicy (as they should be) and asked if this is ok. It certainly was with me! Now although I love my friend, sometimes I think she is a bit weird when it comes to food. She asked for her burger to be served well done and this was absolutely not a problem.

We enjoyed the music, wine, company and digging into our buger. We were sooooooo full when we'd finished but both agreed it was one of the best we'd ever had and it was very very satisfying.

A burger plus handcut chips and a salad will set you back between £8-£9.50. The prices are a steal during happy hour (Mon-Fri 5-6pm) where you can enjoy 3 courses for only £11.50!

The Fat Hippo Underground opens tomorrow! 12noon-late weekdays and 11am-late weekends. Call 0191 4471161 for reservations. 


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5 reasons to be cheerful this week

1. World book day
I loved seeing all of the pictures of little one's dressed up for world book day. My youngest even made the newspaper (he's the Gruffalo's child - front row)

2. Starting college
There is nothing like a new challenge to re-energise you. I started a business admin course at college this week, it's exciting to have something new to get my teeth into and I'm already looking forward to my first assignment.

3. Discovering discounted Yankee candle's
Haha, small things! We spend a lot of hours (yes hours) at work talking about Yankee candles. We have a bit of an obsession! My colleagues have been telling me about an outlet that sells them at a heavily discounted price for ages! I finally managed to visit this week and managed to get some fantastic bargains! I will be back next pay day.

4. Date night
Once every 4 weeks both me and hubby finish work at 8pm (ish) on a Saturday night and the kids sleep over at grannies. Although we often don't feel like it after a long day at work, we use this time to go out just us two and I love it. This week we are going for a pizza with some vouchers we have left over from a review.

5. Spring is here
This week the kids have been to the park and played outside with their friends every night after school. We've been able to open our windows without freezing and our daffodils are flowering. Spring is definitely here.

What reasons do you have to be cheerful this week? 

The obligatory pancake post!

Shrove Tuesday - the day when you are supposed to use up your store cupboard ingredients in preparation for lent - yet now the opposite happens. Supermarket aisle ends are packed full of various 'pancake kits', sauces and toppings and instead of using up what we have in our cupboard it seems we have been convinced to buy into this market and actually spend money buying more ingredients!

I have to confess we did use a 'Aunt Bessie's Yorkshire pudding mix' we had in our cupboard and today when I was in our local supermarket I was tempted to buy a bottle of toffee sauce and a jif lemon! Can't believe I fell into the trap! Especially when we already had lots of toppings we could use in our store cupboard!

The kids were so excited to make pancakes.

Their excitement came to a head as they stood back and watched me flip the pancakes! I have not seen them so excited in a long time! Pleased to say that none ended up stuck on the ceiling or even the floor.

Lindisfarne lemon curd was our favourite topping. The kids enjoyed honey, lemon juice and toffee sauce (7yo even tried all of this together!)

Although we always enjoy making pancakes, I think this is probably the first year the whole family have actually enjoyed eating them all which was nice (rather than messing about, making a mess with lots of toppings on the plate and then leaving the pancake)

Did you enjoy pancake day? What were the favourite toppings in your house this year?


Holiday and short break ideas

North East Accommodation
Dark Skies mini breaks in Northumberland

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